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Freedom Charity aims to help protect the lives of children and young people by raising awareness of Forced Marriage and dishonour based abuse in the UK and providing young people with the tools and confidence to deal with the problem.
Earlier this year the Freedom Charity released the Freedom App. This potentially lifesaving app contains information for victims, their friends and professionals about the signs of forced marriage and dishonour based violence, as well as how and where to find help.
Freedom Charity realised that to reach at risk schoolchildren more effectively they needed to extend access via BlackBerrys. Virtual College’s Safeguarding Children e-Academy instantly saw the value in this project and donated £2000 to help the Freedom Charity develop their app for the BlackBerry platform which is popular among school children.
“Raising awareness and knowing where to get help if you or a friend is a victim of forced marriage and dishonour based violence is the best way to combat this type of abuse.” Abby Dacres, Health and Social Care Manager, Virtual College.
The charity has also set up the country’s first 24-hour, 7 days a week helpline to raise awareness and prevent abuse by forced marriage and dishonour based violence, manned by trained professionals. Victims or their worried friends can also use a 24-hour text line to access help.
Vineeta Thornhill, CEO of Freedom Charity said “We believe education plays a vital role in preventing forced marriage and that’s why we’re aiming to spread the word to as many schools as we can.”
“We are trying to stay on top of new technology and the new methods by which young people are now communicating.”
“We have a new generation who have smartphones and by accessing the app they are just two buttons away from getting life-saving help.”